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Old Sturbridge Village, Oxen Fields and Farmers
October 8, 2022 @ 9:30 am - 4:00 pm EDT
An event every day that begins at 9:30 am, repeating until October 10, 2022
Fall was and is a special time in New England! Spend time this weekend to celebrate the harvest and New England autumn by enjoying the brilliant fall foliage, meeting a couple of teams of oxen, and learning about how early 19th-century New Englanders preserved the harvest.
Fall was the time for 19th-century Agricultural Societies to hold a Cattle Show. Many shows also included an Exhibition of Domestic Manufacture. Throughout the weekend, we are recreating such a display. Please stop by to see an exhibition of vegetables, fruit, butter, cheese, and items of home manufacture such as handwoven cotton and woollen fabrics, knitted stockings and shawls, and fancy work. Village manufactured items such as shoes, tin, pottery, brooms, baskets, straw braid, and books will also be on display.
Also this weekend, learn about saving your seeds for next year’s garden and preserving vegetables to last all year. Watch us use our dried flowers to make everlasting bouquets and weave baskets that are used for harvesting crops. Check back closer to the time for a schedule and a more detailed list!
Some visitors to the Village are surprised to learn that oxen are simply a trained type of cattle, rather than a completely different animal. The term “oxen” (usually) refers to castrated male cattle that have been trained to work by command for four years. Voice commands include “haw” for “go left,” “come up” for “go forward,” and “whoa” for “stop.” Early 19th-century farmers relied on oxen for plowing their fields, hauling loads of hay or logs, and other tasks.